lawyer faq

Q: What is an injunction?

A: An injunction is a court order requiring a party to stop (or refrain from taking) some action that the court believes is harmful to another party.

Q: What is the difference between a “restraining order” and an injunction?

A: In general, the burden of proof is much less to obtain a restraining order than is required to obtain an injunction and, as a result, restraining orders are issued for only a brief period of time – usually up to 2 weeks – to protect an aggrieved party until a hearing can be conducted on a request for an injunction.

Q: What is a “temporary injunction”?

A: A temporary injunction differs from a permanent injunction in that it is in effect only until the trial is completed (unless earlier dissolved by the court or agreement of the parties). A permanent injunction typically is entered only after the trial is completed and the court finds that it is necessary to protect the rights of the successful party after the trial is over.

Q: What is a “mandatory injunction”?

A: While most injunctions are prohibitory – that is they prevent some action from being taken – under certain circumstances, a court can enter an injunction that requires a party to affirmatively do something, rather than to refrain from some activity. In general, courts are more reluctant to issue mandatory injunctions than prohibitory injunctions.

Q: Can I get an injunction in any lawsuit?

A: Probably not. There are very specific legal and factual requirements for obtaining an injunction. Unless the court determines that those requirements are clearly met, an injunction will not be issued.

Q: What are the requirements for obtaining an injunction?

A:   There are some differences between the injunction requirements in federal courts and in Texas state courts and differences in the burden of proof when seeking temporary as opposed to permanent injunctive relief.  Explaining the details of all of the requirements and the differences in the burden of proof between the types of injunctive relief sought is beyond the scope of this FAQ; nevertheless, some of the common requirements include:

  • that the requesting party has a legal right that has been or is about to be violated by the other party and
  • that unless the injunction is issued,
    • the requesting party likely will be harmed by the actions of that other party,
    • the harm will be “irreparable”, and
    • no other legal remedy will be adequate to protect or restore the requesting party’s rights.

The above is only a cursory and incomplete overview and is not a sufficiently complete basis for anyone to decide whether or not they may be entitled to injunctive relief.  A complete analysis of whether or not injunctive relief may be an available remedy requires a detailed analysis of the facts and the law applicable to the individual situation by a lawyer experienced in injunction cases.